Chapter 29. Network Manager (SnakeSys)

MagicQ supports a Network Manager (Setup, View DMX I/O, Net Manager) for monitoring and configuring network devices, including Art-Net and sACN nodes, RDM devices, and SnakeSys products using the ChamNet protocol.

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29.1. VIEW CHAMNET

ChamNet devices include the SnakeSys B4, SnakeSys R4, SnakeSys R8, SnakeSys T2 (T6), older ChamSys 4 port Ethernet Interfaces and 10Scene Gateways,

SnakeSys products B4, R4, R8, T2 can be configured in two different ways – in normal mode the product is configured from the front panel switches and buttons on the SnakeSys product. In ChamNet mode the switches and buttons are ignored and the product is configured from MagicQ.

29.1.1. Normal (non ChamNet mode)

If the SnakeSys product is set in a mode other than ChamNet Mode (such as Art-Net, ACN or buffer) then it is not possible to configure the interface from Net Manager. However, the device will still appear in Net Manager and it is possible to view its configuration.

29.1.2. ChamNet Mode

In ChamNet mode each SnakeSys product on the network has with a different ID in the range 0 to 99. All interfaces should have different IDs.

The ID is set on the SnakeSys product using either the control panel or rotary switches. The 10SCene Gateway ID can only be configured through Net Manager as it has no physical buttons on the device.

SnakeSys B4, R4, R8, T2(6) nodes can be configured using the CONFIG DEVICE soft button and selecting an appropriate profile.

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The profiles act as a starting point – once a starting profile has been chosen, the detailed configuration can all be set individually for each port by changing to the VIEW PORTS view.

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The rate, frame, MAB and Break timing can be set for each interface – the timings affect all ports on the interface.

When configured as Outputs the ports can be configured to output the same or different Art-Net / ACN universes.

The Cons Uni field shows the console universe on MagicQ that is outputting the data that the port is trying to read. If no console universe is set to output on that port then the field is blank.

At any time you can revert back to a standard profile by pressing the CONFIG DEVICE soft button – this will show the list of DMX profiles.

29.1.3. Upgrading SnakeSys firmware

SnakeSys product firmware can be firmware upgraded from MagicQ software - the latest MagicQ software contains the latest firmware for all SnakeSys products - this can be found in the firmware folder under on the installation.

ChamSys recommend not attempting a firmware update on SnakeSys products in a critical show environment.

Download the latest MagicQ software from the ChamSys download site. In order to upgrade the full range of SnakeSys devices MagicQ must be running software version 1.6.0.5 or higher.

http://chamsys.co.uk/download

  • Connect the SnakeSys device to either a MagicQ Console or MagicQ PC/Mac System via a direct network cable. It is advisable to remove all other equipment from the network.
  • SnakeSys devices ship with a default IP address in the 2.X.X.X range, in order to update the firmware on your device MagicQ must also be set to an IP address within this range.
  • Set the SnakeSys device to be in ChamNet/MagicQ mode
  • In Net Manager, put the cursor on the device to be upgraded and press UPGRADE DEVICE.
  • Choose the required firmware version. In older versions of MagicQ you need to specify the version number of the firmware.
  • Do not power off the interface whilst the firmware is being upgraded. When MagicQ reports "Device restarted successfully" the upgrade is complete.

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If you are sent a newer firmware file by ChamSys support then copy the file into the firmware folder in the MagicQ installation. To install it onto a MagicQ console put the file onto a USB stick, then in MagicQ go to Setup, File Manager. Select USB DRIVE. Press COPY and select the file as the source to copy. Then select the destination, by selecting HARD DRIVE, UP DIR, and select the firmware folder. Press the "." item to copy to. Then follow the procedure above.

The firmware has the filename firmware_XXXX_YYYY or firmware_XXXX_XXXX_YYYY where the XXXX or XXXX_XXXX is the product code and YYYY is the firmware version number. The product codes are:

  • SnakeSys B4 334A
  • SnakeSys R4 342A
  • SnakeSys T2 419B
  • SnakeSys R8 330A
  • 10Scene 0310_0024

29.1.4. Older ChamSys 4 Port Ethernet interfaces

Older Chamys 4 Port Ethernet Interfaces and the SnakeSys B4 interfaces manufactured prior to 2013 (serial numbers with last 4 digits less than 0268) have no storage for configuration data and so when in ChamNet mode they always get their configuration from MagicQ every time they are powered up.

When the interface starts up it will recognise that it is in MQ Mode and then will search on the network to find a MagicQ system that can give it a configuration. The interface will not output or input DMX data until it has received configuration from a MagicQ system.

The MagicQ system stores the configuration information for all these older interfaces as console settings. In View Ports, press the INSERT B4MK1 button to add a new interface. MagicQ will present a list of default profiles for configuring the interface.

An interface can be removed by putting the cursor on the line of the interface and pressing REMOVE.

If there are multiple MagicQ consoles on the network, then only the master one (as per Hot Takeover) will provide configuration information to the interfaces.

Newer SnakeSys B4s and all other SnakeSys products will appear automatically in the list and do not need to be inserted or removed.

29.1.5. Output Setup

In order to use a SnakeSys product with a MagicQ system the MagicQ system must be set up in Setup, View DMX I/O to output or input universes over the network

When outputting from the SnakeSys product set up MagicQ universes with Output type of Art-Net or ACN with the Out Uni set to the Art-Net or ACN universes that the SnakeSys device is set to decode.

For inputting DMX from the SnakeSys product set up MagicQ universes with Input type of Art-Net or ACN with the In Uni set to the Art-Net or ACN universes that the SnakeSys device is set to generate.

29.2. VIEW ART-NET

This view shows all Art-Net devices detected on the network. This includes all MagicQ console, QuickQ consoles and stand alone MagicVis and MagicHD applications as they all have Art-Net capability.

Press REFRESH NODES to force MagicQ to clear its table of Art-Net nodes and redetect all nodes.

For each node that it detects it shows the IP address, node name and port configuration.

For each port it shows the universe that the node is set to output or input. The universe is preceded by the following letters to indicate status:

  • O Port is configured as an Output
  • OE Port is configured as an Output and is enabled
  • sAO Port is configured as an Output for sACN
  • sAOE Port is configured as an Output for SACN and is enabled
  • I Port is configured as an Input
  • IR Port is configured as an Input and is receiving data

For Art-Net ports the universe is the Art-Net universe (starting at 0) for sACN it is the sACN universe.

Note that whether these indicators are displayed is entirely dependent on the node and whether the manufacturer has implemented these fields in their Art-Net implementation.

Where the node supports it, it is possible to directly configure the ports of the node by setting the Universe value in the Port Field.

Type S or s in the Port field to set the port to sACN. Type A or a in the port field to set the port to Art-Net.

Press RDM DISCOVERY to force an Art-Net node that supports RDMM to perform discovery amd retrieve the RDM table of devices. Any devices that are detected will be shown in the VIEW RDM menu. SHIFT + GET RDM TOD retrieves the table of devices (TOD) without forcing the node to do a discovery of new devices.

Press VIEW STATUS to jump to the Output Window, Art-Net View to see the number of Art-Net packets being received on Art-Net universe 0 to 255.

29.3. VIEW SACN

This view shows all sACN RDMNET devices detected on the network. In order to detect RDMNET devices the IP Address and port of the RDMNET gateway must be first configured in Setup, View Settings, Network.

Once a RDMNET gateway has been detected, use GET ENDPOINTS to get the Endpoint data.

29.4. VIEW RDM

This view shows RDM devices.

MagicQ stores the list of RDM devices (to enable restoring of a lighting rig via RDM) in the show file, so the device list may contain devices that are not currently accessible.

Devices that have been discovered in the current session are shown in white, whilst devices that have been discovered in previous sessions and stored in the show file are shown in grey.

Press SHIFT and CLEAR RDM to clear all stored RDM devices out of the MagicQ show. Alternatively, use REMOVE to remove one or more individual entries.

29.4.1. Discovering and configuring devices

Press DISCOVER ALL to discover RDM devices. MagicQ will attempt to discover RDM compliant devices on its direct console ports (MQ50, MQ70, MQ80) and via connected Art-Net nodes that support RDM.

When MagicQ detects the RDM devices it will automatically attempt to get information from each fixture in turn on all. Some devices may not respond immediately - in this case it may be necessary to press GET INFO to force this information to be retrieved.

If the RDM devices are connected to an Art-Net node and nothing is detected then check that your RDM-enabled Art-Net node appears in VIEW ART-NET.

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The fixture address, mode, dimmer curve and modulation frequency can be set directly for each RDM device shown in the Window. It is also possible to factory reset devices that support it.

Columns

Uni
MagicQ universe number.
Type
Shows if this is running over Art-Net or ACN.
RDM Uni
If this is running over Art-Net, this shows the Art-Net universe.
Addr
DMX address (1 - 512). Set this field to change the DMX address of the fixture.
Chans
Number of DMX channels this fixture uses in its current mode.
Per
Mode/personality of the fixture (1+). Set this field to change the mode of the fixture - MagicQ will show a list of the modes reported by the fixture.
Tot
Number of modes/personalities supported by this fixture.
Manufacturer
Manufacturer of the fixture.
Model
Model of the fixture.
Mode
Name of the currently selected mode/personality. Modes start from 1. This field can be set to change the mode of the fixture.
UID
This is a 12 digit hexadecimal number that is unique to this device. It enables the RDM protocol to ensure messages can be sent to specific devices. The first four digits of the UID is also known as the "ESTA Manufacturer ID" assigned to that manufacturer.
Device Model ID
A four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the model of the fixture for that manufacturer.
Curve
The dimmer curve of the fixture. Dimmer curve is an optional RDM field.
Freq
The modulation frequency of the fixture. Frequency is an optional RDM field.
Factory
This field indicates if the fixture is in its factory reset state and enables setting to the factory reset state. This is an optional RDM field and is not supported by many fixtures.

To further configure the custom parameters PID of each RDM device connected put the cursor on the required device and press VIEW PIDS.

Note that The DISCOVER ALL command requests Art-Net nodes to perform a flush of their RDM table of devices (TOD) and to then perform a discovery of all currently connected devices. In some cases it may be useful to just retrieve the table off devices without forcing a new discovery - in this case press SHIFT + GET TOD ALL. .

29.4.2. Auto addressing

Press the AUTO ADDRESS soft button to automatically address all the fixtures in the list, starting at 1 and incrementing based on the channel count of each fixture.

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Where there are devices from more than one universe the devices on each universe will be addressed starting at 1.

29.4.3. Restore addressing

Once a DISCOVER ALL and GET INFO has been performed on a lighting rig, MagicQ stores the RDM address and mode for each fixture with its unique UUID in the show file. This is maintained in the show file through subsequent loads and saves of that show file.

At any time a lighting rig can be restored to a known state from a MagicQ show file.

First in Net Manager perform a DISCOVER ALL and GET INFO to get the addresses and mode of the RDM devices. Check that all the expected devices have been detected.

Then press SHIFT + RESTORE ADDRESS and select a show file to load the RDM information from. MagicQ loads the RDM data from that show file and readdresses the RDM fixtures to the mode and address from that show file. Note that MagicQ only loads the RDM information from that show file, it does not load or change any other data in your show.

When setting up a new venue, or a new lighting rig that uses RDM when the configuration is complete it is recommended to DISCOVER ALL and GET INFO for the complete rig and save the MagicQ show file with a name such as "VenueRDM.shw" which can then be used in the future to restore the lighitn rig to the correct RDM state.

29.4.4. Identifying devices

The RDM identify command forces a fixture to identify itself - generally by output light. This is usually a flashing white light or continuous pan, tilt and colour scroll. This allows you to match up the devices you are seeing in the VIEW RDM window with physical devices on the lighting rig, similar to the Head Test feature in the Patch window.

In the VIEW RDM window, press soft button C, RDM Test, and use the cursor keys to scroll up and down the list of devices. The device at the cursor will be sent the RDM identify message and highlighted red to show it is in test mode.

29.4.5. Sensors

Sensor information for the RDM device at the cursor is displayed at the top of the window and is continually refreshed. If the device is able to report multiple sensors then they are all shown.

29.4.6. Auto patching

Pressing the PATCH RDM HEAD soft button will patch the RDM device at the cursor into the show, using its current DMX address and mode.

Press SHIFT and PATCH ALL RDM soft button to patch everything in the list.

This tries to find a matching head file using the ESTA Manufacturer ID, Device Model ID and mode. If this fails it tries to match the manufacturer and model descriptions and channel count.

To improve the accuracy of the auto patching feature, you can add in the RDM information into the head file using the head editor. In the General View there is

ESTA manufacturer ID (hex)
This is a four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the manufacturer of the fixture. This can be found by taking the first four digits of the UID (e.g. in the VIEW RDM window image above, the UID of the first fixture is 21A4-A30810F6 so the ESTA ID is 21A4, which will be the same for all Chauvet fixtures). A complete list can be found on the ESTA website.
RDM device model ID (hex)
This is a four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the model for this manufacturer. It can be found in the Device Model ID column or in the manual. In this example, device model ID 00AE will be the same for all Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures.
RDM personality number
This is a decimal number which represents the mode/personality reported by RDM. This can be found in the Per column and must be 1 or higher.

The ESTA Manufacturer ID, Device Model ID and Personality number are all reported by the fixture over RDM and together can be used to match a specific head file. You should not have more than one head file with all three of these fields the same.

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29.4.7. Creating Heads from RDM data

MagicQ has an extensive personality library which covers nearly all fixtures. MagicQ personality library has very detailed modelling of fixtures including gobo icons and physical dimensions.

RDM optionally allows fixtures to provide basic reporting of attribute allocation enabling MagicQ to create a basic new personality which can be then used to patch the head.

Put the cursor on the required device and press CREATE HEAD to create a new personality. The name of the personality will be based on the Manufacturer, Model and Mode fields reported by the RDM device.

Note that creating heads is only possible if the RDM device supports the RDM SLOT_INFO PID.

29.4.8. Manual Repatch

MagicQ provides shortcuts for repatching a lighting rig RDM compliant fixtures in it.

There are two options - Readdress physical fixtures and Repatch show to fixtures.

Readdress physical fixtures

This is used when you want to change the addresses on the physical fixtures in the venue to match your show file - for example, when setting up a lighting rig for the first time where the fixtures have not yet been addressed.

Readdressing physical fixtures does not change the Patch information or any of your programming in your show - instead it uses RDM commands to change the address and mode of the physical fixtures, just as if you were changing them on the fixture control panel.

First press DISCOVER ALL and GET INFO to get the RDM information for the RDM compliant fixtures in the lighting rig.

Then press MANUAL REPATCH and select Readdress physical fixtures. "RDM Readdr" will flash in the status window under the clock whilst RDM Readdr mode is in operation.

In RDM Readdr mode the fixture at the cursor in Net Manager is automatically tested (identified) to identify the fixture in the physical lighting rig.

Use the NEXT HEAD and PREV HEAD buttons to move to different fixtures in the lighting rig. Note that the NEXT HEAD and PREV HEAD buttons are not used to select heads whilst in RDM Readdr mode.

To readdress a RDM fixture to match a head in your show use one of the normal MagicQ head selection operations - either:

  • Enter the head number - e.g. for head 10 type 10 @ @
  • Select the head in Group, View Heads
  • Select the head in the Plot Window
  • Select the head in the Output Window, View Grid
  • In the Patch Window, move cursor to a Head and press ENTER.

The RDM device will be readdressed and set to the mode of the selected head in the MagicQ show.

Use NEXT HEAD or PREV HEAD to change to another RDM fixture, and then select the head in the MagicQ show to readdress this fixture to.

When all readdressing has been done press the END READDRESS button in the Net Manager.

Repatch show to fixtures

This is used when you want to change your show data to match the DMX addresses and modes of the physical fixtures in the venue - for example, when touring and visiting a venue with a fixed lighting rig.

Repatch show to fixtures does not change the address, mode or any other parameters of the physical fixtures - instead it morphs your show file to the physical fixtures and repatches the addresses to match the physical rig.

First press DISCOVER ALL and GET INFO to get the RDM information for the RDM compliant fixtures in the lighting rig.

Then press MANUAL REPATCH and select Repatch show to fixtures. "RDM Repatch" will flash in the status window under the clock whilst RDM Repatch mode is in operation.

In RDM Repatch mode the fixture at the cursor in Net Manager is automatically tested (identified) to identify the fixture in the physical lighting rig.

Use the NEXT HEAD and PREV HEAD buttons to move to different fixtures in the lighting rig. Note that the NEXT HEAD and PREV HEAD buttons are not used to select heads whilst in RDM Repatch mode.

To repatch a head in your show to use the physical fixture seleet that head using one of the normal MagicQ head selection operations - either:

  • Enter the head number - e.g. for head 10 type 10 @ @
  • Select the head in Group, View Heads
  • Select the head in the Plot Window
  • Select the head in the Output Window, View Grid
  • In the Patch Window, move cursor to a Head and press ENTER.

The head in the MagicQ Patch will be morphed to the RDM fixture, and it will be moved to the DMX address that the RDM device reported.

Use NEXT HEAD or PREV HEAD to change to another RDM fixture, and then select the head in the MagicQ show to repatch for this fixture.

When all repatching has been done press the END REPATCH button in the Net Manager.

29.4.9. VIEW PIDS

RDM fixtures support parameters referred to as PIDs. Parameters can be "Get" - i.e read only, "Set", i.e. set only, or "Get and Set".

All RDM fixtures must support the paramters used for discovering the device, identifying the device and setting the DMX start address.

In the VIEW PIDS all the PIDs that the device reports that it supports are shown. For each parameter there is an ID (as defined by the RDM specification), a description and the current value.

Standard PIDs hav I Ds in the range 0x0001 to 0x7FFF. Manufacturer specific PIDs are in the range 0x8000 to 0xFFDF.

The Size, Data Type, Min, Max, Type, Default, Unit and Prefix fields give more information about the particular parameter.

For parameters that are "Set" or "Get and Set" the Value field can be set. Enter a new value on the keyboard to change the value.

Press REFRESH PIDS to reload the PIDs from the device.

The GET SLOTS and LOG RDM soft buttons are used for testing RDM fixtures. Press GET SLOTS to force MagicQ to get the DMX Slot information (fixture attribute information) from the RDM device. LOG RDM writes all the details that have been retrieved from the RDM device including the general info, modes, slot info and PIDs to the file "rdm.csv" in the log folder.